Unlike their Imperial predecessors who were treated as expendable, sent into combat in unshielded TIEs, First Order TIE pilots are treated as important parts of its war machine. Potential First Order pilots are identified as children and given rigorous training, often within the corridors of warships, then tested ruthlessly throughout their careers to ensure their reflexes, visual acuity and coordination measure up. Elite Special Forces fighter pilots bear red flashes on their helmets, and report to the upper ranks of the First Order hierarchy.
The TIE Pilots will return in the the film The Force Awakens as pilots of the First Order. They will feature a redesign to their uniforms, specifically to their helmets and life-support equipment. Instead of two breather tubes, the First Order pilots will only have one connected on the right side of the helmet.